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UN agencies seek Shs 2.1 trillion to support refugees from the DRC

The United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) and 66 humanitarian and development partners have launched a funding appeal for Shs 2.1 trillion million to assist an anticipated 1.1 million refugees from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in seven neighbouring countries.

For over a decade, the DRC has endured one of the most difficult, long standing humanitarian crises in Africa. The crisis has generated hundreds of thousands of refugees who are being generously hosted across the African continent, including in Angola (23,458), Burundi (79,662), Republic of the Congo (19,791), Rwanda (74,696), Uganda (573,406), United Republic of Tanzania (78,571) and Zambia (58,911).

As a result of evolving and growing needs, and increasing strain on resources in countries hosting Congolese refugees, the DRC Regional Refugee Response Plan (RRRP) requires US$ 585 million to maintain, increase and improve programmes to protect, educate, support livelihoods, and provide food, health and nutrition, shelter, clean water and sanitation.

 “The Covid-19 pandemic has also added a further layer of vulnerability to the protection and assistance needs of Congolese refugees and asylum-seekers,” says UNHCR’s Southern Africa Bureau Director, Valentin Tapsoba, who serves as the Regional Refugee Coordinator for the DRC Situation.

RRRP partners have adapted programming to the context of Covid-19 to maintain critical protection services and other life-saving assistance, while also scaling up specific assistance for those most impacted by the pandemic.

At the same time, to reduce dependency on humanitarian assistance, the DRC RRRP promotes the inclusion of refugees in national systems, and seeks to strengthen self-reliance through education, skills training and support livelihood opportunities for both refugee and host communities.

“Through the RRRP we are not only expressing the urgent and long term needs of Congolese refugees, but we are also urging existing and new partners, interested stakeholders and other key role players, to join us in renewing our collective commitment to provide comprehensive and durable solutions for refugees from the DRC,” says Tapsoba.

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